At IHG brand hotels and resorts booked directly; otherwise earn 2X.
The IHG Rewards Traveler Credit Card is IHG’s no-annual-fee credit card. As such, it doesn’t offer the excellent perks that come with the IHG Premier Credit Card — like a free night each account anniversary, automatic Platinum Elite status, and other travel perks.
However, the IHG Traveler Card still offers surprisingly good benefits for a no-annual-fee card. You’ll get IHG Rewards’ intro level Silver Elite status, fourth night free on rewards stays, and a 20% discount on purchases of IHG Rewards points.
Silver Elite status doesn’t offer too many perks — 20% bonus points at IHG hotels and resorts, a shot at late checkout, and not having to worry about point expiration. Cardholders can spend $20,000 in a calendar year to upgrade to Gold Elite status. Gold Elite status includes 40% bonus points at IHG hotels and resorts.
In addition to the sign-up bonus, IHG Rewards Traveler Credit Card cardholders will earn bonus points on IHG hotel stays, dining, gas stations, select streaming services, and utility monthly bills. Cardholders earn 2 points per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases. Considering the IHG Rewards point value is only around 0.4 cents per point, that’s not the best possible return on your other purchases.
So, you might just want to limit using your IHG Traveler Card to IHG hotels and resorts. By charging IHG hotel stays to their IHG Traveler Card, cardholders will earn a total of at least 17 points per dollar spent:
For those unfamiliar, the IHG Rewards loyalty program includes a wide range of hotel brands. On the luxury side, you can earn and redeem IHG points at InterContinental Hotels, Kimpton, Hotel Indigo, Six Senses, and Regent Hotels. On the flip side, you can earn and redeem IHG points for stays at Holiday Inn Express, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Candlewood Suites, and Staybridge Suites. That range of earning and redemption options is truly impressive.
On American Airlines airfare booked directly with American Airlines; otherwise earn 1X
Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite MasterCard is the perfect card for travelers that even periodically fly American. For a $99 annual fee (waived the first year), cardholders and travelers on the same reservation enjoy preferred boarding, a free checked bag on American Airlines flights, and 25% savings on inflight food and beverage purchases.
Cardholders earn 2x American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles at restaurants and gas stations and on eligible American Airlines purchases. All other eligible purchases earn 1x AAdvantage® miles per eligible dollar spent.
Each dollar spent on an American Airlines credit card earns 1 Loyalty Point. That means cardholders can earn elite status in the AAdvantage program just by spending on the AAdvantage® Platinum Select card. For example, you can earn AAdvantage® Gold elite status with just $40,000 in purchases on the card in a year.
Note that the sign up bonus and spending category bonuses count as American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles. That means you won’t earn Loyalty Points on these AAdvantage® bonus miles. As an example, if you spend $5,000 at gas stations in a year, although you’ll earn 10,000 AAdvantage® miles on these purchases, it will only count as 5,000 Loyalty Points.
American Airlines currently charges $40 for a first checked bag on domestic itineraries. Considering you and up to four travel companions can check a bag for free, this one credit card perk can save you up to $400 per round-trip flight. The catch is that this perk only is offered on domestic flights. Unfortunately, cardholders can’t check a bag for free on American Airlines international flights.